14 November 2009

Fluff, It's All Fluff

Fluff, it's all fluff. I'm referring to the article by the Rev. Kenneth W. Chalker that appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Saturday, November 14. The Rev. Chalker rambles through his article, Even in difficult times, there's much to be thankful for, citing his pastoral visits to an ailing parishioner ("Its just not fair") and pointing out several national and local horrors of late. Chalker laments, In this year when many of us are sick at heart for grieving loved ones of the murdered and wounded, when many of us are bummed out by continuous word of local corruption in government, such superficial cliches as "the sun will come out tomorrow" or "God does not give us anything we cannot handle" are not particularly helpful in rekindling a grateful heart. The truth we all intuitively know is that clouds over Cleveland are plentiful in November. And there are many things we cannot "handle." Lots of things are unfair. Rev. Chalker never ceases to amaze me and this article hasn't let me down. He goes on to say that, Good does triumph over evil. Hate does not ultimately win and that he doesn't want to offer cliches of his own. However, what strikes one most is the complete lack of Biblical support for his opinions and any Biblical help or comfort for facing these difficult times (what time in history hasn't been difficult?). The best he can offer is from his ailing parishioner from his sick bed: ...he affirms that people are basically kind, that there is a remarkable and resilient spirit animating our human flesh that is the source of our freedom and love of liberty and each other. What? Is that the best he can do? I thought cliches weren't called for in this situation.

It's truly astonishing that the Rev. Chalker does not offer one piece of Biblical support for his opinions or spiritual comfort for his readers in this article. The Bible is not mentioned at all. God is only mentioned in a cliche that he tells us won't rekindle a grateful heart. That's it, God mentioned once in passing and no Scripture. I'm not really sure of what his point is. Surely I was not encouraged after reading it. I can't see how anyone else was either. Fluff, it's all fluff.

May I suggest that during these awful times that we need to seek out the Lord and bend our knee to Him. He is our only hope in good times or bad. Certainly Scripture tells us we should expect suffering - we live in a sinful world (1 Peter 3:14, 17, 4:15-16, 19; Hebrews 11:25; 2 Corinthians 1:8-9; 2Corinthians 4:16-17). If Christ suffered shouldn't we also expect to? But praise God, for He is our only hope (Romans 12:12).

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

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